The nation’s continuing economic slowdown will keep cargo traffic at major retail container ports below last year’s levels through this summer and early fall, but month-to-month numbers are climbing and ports should see a return to year-over-year growth by Halloween, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released Monday by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Global Insight. U.S. ports surveyed handled 1.26 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU) of container traffic in April, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available. That’s up 8.9 percent from March, which registered the lowest volume in two years, but down 4.7 percent from April 2007. “The

Seattle/Tacoma Entrances & Exits: CompUSA purchased two Computer City locations in Seattle this year and continued operating those, while it closed two in the area as well. Economy: The current state of King and its surrounding counties is good. About 75 percen t of Washington's population lives in the Seattle market, so while smaller retailers face stiff competition up and down the I-5 corridor, the little guys do well in Washington state, catering to those uninterested in city shopping. In the Puget Sound area, 1998 retail sales went up 9 percent and taxable retail sales rose 7 percent. The housing market continues to boom,

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